For those longtime fans of New Zealand's the Dead C who were reasonably miffed by the release of 2007's pretentiously titled Future Artists, the release of 2010's Patience is reason for renewed faith. (Perhaps the title of this effort directly -- and ironically -- addresses those very listeners.) Clocking in at a near-perfect 37 minutes, it contains four tracks of varying length, from just over 16 minutes to less then a minute-and-a-half. It's the two longer jams -- album-opener "Empire" and its bookend "South" -- that provide the most satisfaction. The former is a slow, aimless slog through droning feedback-intense, post-psych guitar exploration, with upfront drumming that keeps the pace steady, slow, and nearly hypnotic. It never gets to the point of pure hard rock excess, but a few minutes in, vamps and riffs assert themselves under the skronk with enough of a meaty chug to keep you deep under the track's considerable spell. "Federation," at a minute-and-twenty-three-seconds, feels more like an intro to "Shaft" than anything else, with whispering cymbals and unidentifiable reverbed sounds. On this latter cut, the pace is quicker: seemingly doubled-up drums are more forceful and focused in their attack, but still never really arrive anywhere -- and don't need to. Controlled feedback keeps the drift quotient high despite the raucously insistent pulse; that is, before it disintegrates into formless, mind-expanding sonics. "South" spends nearly half its 14-plus-minute length with shapeshifting sounds made of scraped guitar strings and blown-out, oscillating noise before double-timed drums -- mixed very low -- assert themselves; the guitars play a series of open, droning chords to add weight to the Merzbow-lite-like noise before simply stopping quite suddenly, like the tape ran out of the machine. It's a shambolic processional chock-full of mercurial whiteout and smear that pours like molasses from the speakers. Patience is, in other words, a delightfully acid-drenched, aimless return to enduring form.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek